Friday, 16 March 2012

Review: The Fever and the Flame

The Fever and the Flame by Mary Hooper
Includes: At the Sign of the Sugared Plum and the sequel, Petals in the Ashes.

 Two tales following the remarkable life of a girl in London in the tumultuous years of the Great Plague and the Great Fire. Hannah is excited as she is about to embark upon her first ever trip to London to help her sister in her shop 'The Sugared Plum', making sweetmeats for the gentry. She does not, however, get the reception she expected from her sister Sarah. Instead of giving Hannah a hearty welcome, Sarah is horrified that Hannah did not get her message to stay away - the Plague is taking hold of London. In the second of these stories, Hannah returns to her beloved London to re-open the sweetmeats shop with younger sister Anne. Londoners are reeling from the plague epidemic of the previous year, but Hannah and Anne are keen to start enjoying everything the bustling city has to offer. But this is 1666, and it has been prophesied that terrible things will happen, and on Pudding Lane, flames are raging through the bakery ...Based on meticulous research, Mary Hooper evokes with complete mastery the sights, sounds and terror of a London gripped firstly by the shocking and gruesome plague, and then by the ferocious and terrible fire.

As the book cover suggests this is a special omnibus edition, i bought this second hand and found it to be signed (lucky me as it wasn't advertised as such). For some reason i have an interest in the plague and the Great Fire of London, one of the subjects i actually remember learning about when i was young in school! I took this book out years ago from a local library and bought it again after searching on the Internet for it, some time later. I would say this book would be good for about 12 years plus but i am 19 years old and i really enjoyed it. Of course i am not an expert on this time period but i found there to be a lot of historical information in the two books and it was highly interesting! I think the main character Hannah was portrayed well as she did seem quite naive - how i would imagine young girls to be at the time, but it wasn't in an annoying way at all, she was flawed but i still liked her.
Both books are not very long but they kept me wanted to know what happened especially in Petals in the Ashes where i was very much on the edge of my seat once the fire started! The descriptions in both books were great, creating great images in my head - some which i kinda wish i hadn't imagined. There is even some romance for all you romantics out there!
The only downside i can think of would be the ending of Petals in the Ashes, it would have been great to see what happened after the fire, because we were not told what did happen it did feel like a bit of an abrupt ending.
After the two books have ended there are some recipes which were featured in the book itself which is a lovely touch which i think may only be included in this special omnibus edition!
I would love to give this books 5 out 5 but because i believe there could have been more to the ending i shall give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars!

Buy this book from Amazon: UK | USA
Click here for authors website


  1. Love the blog, so pretty... Fab review! Thanks for your comment on my blog and for following me... Best wishes Debs :-)

  2. @Debra Thank you so much for the comment, it means a lot! And thank you for following me too! Natasha xx

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  4. @Lindsay Thank you very much Lindsay, its appreciated very much too!